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Review for Hearing Loss Association of America, Bethesda, MD, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

Hearing loss is invisible and no one dies of it, hence it has not captured the media attention of the more obvious disabilities. Along came Self Help for Hard of Hearing People in 1979, the first organization to recognize the needs of people with a hearing loss. Now named Hearing Loss Association of America the organization that started in the founder's (Rocky Stone's) basement is a thriving and growing national organization devoted to educating people with hearing loss, advocating for their rights, and providing reams of information to help them live successfully with a hearing loss. This organization now as 250 chapters throughout country dedicated to helping people learn and cope with their loss. I found the organization as a graduate student in 1982 when I was writing my thesis on Self Help for people with hearing loss. There was a glaring lack of information about hearing loss in libraries. There also was no internet to google information. A small article in a local newspaper inviting people to attend a meeting of Self Help for Hard of Hearing People caught my attention. i was amazed at what the people were learning about their hearing loss but especially about how to cope with it. A few days after this meeting I wrote to the founder and within days a large box of information about hearing loss arrived. My thesis was a success and I was hooked on the organization. Almost 30 years later I am still involved and still learning. The advocacy of the staff and members throught the country helped to ensure that all of the technology being developed would find its way into the hands of the people who needed it. This organization has helped thousands of us learn to deal with hearing loss in a positive way and has hastened the development of technology for all people with hearing loss.We also learned to laugh at ourselves. What a blessing we were given!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Meeting hundreds of people who learned to cope with hearing loss and taught others how to do so. It gave me confidence in my ability to function successfully in my job, in the hearing world!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

like it to have the resources to reach out to the millions of hard of hearing people who are still denying their hearing loss and to have the financial resources to develop a national program to educate teenagers about noise induced hearing loss.

Role:  Volunteer & I was a chapter member helping other people; I was a board member; I did hundreds of presentations and taught many classes about hearing loss, and am now helping to develope a program for parents of children with a hearing loss.